If you don’t have a tradition yet for celebrating Christmas Eve, may I suggest the following two ideas. Growing up, I always yearned that we had a tradition for what to eat on Christmas Eve. I remember once having clam chowder but I don’t remember any other food served any other year. Christmas Day dinner was for the traditional turkey, but what could we have on Christmas Eve? I wanted some kind of set food to mark the evening as special. Well, now I have a set tradition and I hope my kids pass it on. It involves the first tradition listed below. I recently read about the second tradition and will use it this year.
You can use these ideas singly or together. I am putting these ideas out today, because you can shop for the food today and then prepare the food Monday for your Christmas Eve celebration. For those of you who are more organized than I am and have all your shopping done, I’m sorry I didn’t blog about it sooner. Next year I will put it these ideas out earlier in the month, I promise. 🙂
(Photo credit: Diane Hopkins of http://homeschooling.net
1. Have a Bethlehem supper. Eat the traditional foods that Joseph and Mary would have eaten in their day, in the style they would have eaten it. Diane Hopkins has a great blog post about it here.
2. Tell the Christmas Story with food. These involve desserts so the whole activity is a great motivator for the kids to get the nighttime chores (dishes, clean up, jammies on, only don’t brush your teeth yet!) done before you settle in by the fire with Luke 2. You can get the PDF booklet pictured above by Angie Mosteller of celebratingholidays.com (a great resource for celebrating the Christian roots of our holidays) here.
This would be a great way to reach out to others with a plate of goodies and the poem, or as a way to cheer a lonely person by inviting them over and sharing the night with them. That would take more planning, maybe I will get to that next year.
I sent goodies to my missionary son using the poem for the Christmas story that Angie includes in the booklet. Or course my whole foods preferences came out and I used different recipes. I think we will tell the story on Christmas Eve with our own family using some of the treats. I suggest using substitute recipes from my previous posts. Please see either the Naturally Healthy Holiday Treats post here to get the recipe handout or the GAPS holiday recipes here. You could use the recipes as follows:
- an angel made out of homemade marshmallows or gingerbread (recipes for both are in both links)
- holiday spice nuts for the nuts (the GAPS recipes has the spiced nuts recipe)
- fudge made with chocolate chips or nuts for the rocky road, or fudge made with the homemade marshmallows (the recipe for fudge is in both)
- the white fudge for the snow
- for the haystacks, you got me, I just skipped that one in the poem I sent my son. I don’t know how to imitate those hydrogenated oil chow mein noodles
- a homemade marshmallow in the shape of a star
- gingerbread men for the shepherds instead of using candy canes
- for the divinity, you got me as well. I haven’t found a whole foods version of divinity yet!
The point I want to make is to make something yummy to serve with the story. It could be just one food item, or all of them. Go for it if you want to adapt or use what you have or what you are used to making, but enjoy telling the story with some kind of treats to go with it. Even just one treat served with the story would make the whole night more memorable.